A veteran defense will be a cornerstone of the Lipscomb philosophy in 2011, with the backline returning four starters and five contributors from last season.
Three juniors (Katie Wood, Kameron Stilwell, Andie Thornton) started a combined 47 matches in 2010. Thornton is the leading returning scorer for the Lady Bisons, scoring two goals on nine shots last season.
Wood is a two-year starter who has been in the starting line-up all 37 matches of her career. She’s taken 32 shots from her backline position, putting 15 on net.
Stilwell made 16 starts last season and 17 the season before, so she’s also an experienced backliner. The Orange Park, Fla., native can also move up into the center of the park and help out in the midfield.
Sophomore Kelsey Reiman started every match her freshman season and contributed one assist. The Virginian will also put a shot on net every once in a while, firing three in 2010.
Junior Courtney Williams only appeared in six matches last season, but scored a goal on her season’s only shot. She will be counted on to provide depth and experience along the backline in 2011.
Stephanie Romero did not appear in a match last season, but will be looked to as a contributor on the backline and in the midfield in 2011.
Four freshmen have experience and will be counted on to provide depth and push the upperclassmen for playing time in 2011. Ariel Vinson, Brittany Rupple, Taylor Bearden and Madison Krieger will all be given ample opportunities to earn playing time in their first season for the Lady Bisons; Rupple and Vinson will be particularly valuable on the backline, while Krieger and Bearden will move between defender and midfield.
Coming tomorrow, a look at the Lady Bisons goal keepers and a short preview of the season-opener against Arkansas State.